Sunday, March 1, 2009

Picture Book Extravaganza cont. Part 4

Ok everyone, this is the last installment of my Picture Book Extravaganza. I hope you enjoyed the extra dose of the genre this week, I think I may do board books next week....we'll see!

My first selection today is one of the best I've read in awhile focusing on faith. Mortimer's First Garden, written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Dan Andreasen is a wonderful look at what having a hope and faith in your life can bring.

Mortimer, first seen in Mortimer's Christmas Manger, is thrilled that winter is finally over, but everything around him is still brown and gray, not the brilliant green he expects to see once the snow melts. After overhearing a family speak of planting seeds and having green things grow out of the ground, Mortimer is skeptical, but hopeful he too can grow something green. He plants a sunflower seed and waits and waits and waits, but nothing happens. Mortimer is very impatient and starts to believe that nothing will every grow out of the brown dirt.

When God speaks to Mortimer, telling him to simply wait and be patient, Mortimer agrees, praying to God that He will make is seed grow. And on the third morning of waiting, up pops a beautiful green sprout. Higher and higher that sprout grows until it's a full blown sunflower, for which Mortimer knows is a miracle from God.

This was the first Mortimer book I had read, but I immediately order a copy of Mortimer's Christmas Manger for myself, and one for my nephew, plus an additional copy of Mortimer's First Garden for the nephew too. Great faith-based books for kids, these would be wonderful for libraries, home shelves, and church nurseries. The illustrations are beautiful and the stories simple and sweet, with a message that isn't too "preachy."

Mortimer's First Garden
Karma Wilson
32 pages
Picture book
McElderry Books
February 2009

Flying, written and illustrated by Kevin Luthardt is a very simple story about a boy that wonders to his dad why he can't fly. His dad's answer doesn't satisfy him, leading to more and more questions, as we all know, kids are great at asking!

The boy's dad shows his son how with just a tad bit of creativity and a huge imagination, the boy can fly where ever he wants. The pair have a wonderful time pretending together, showing a great father-son bond and the powerful effect a good imagination can have on a child.

Flying is a nice title to have at home, for kids to share with you one on one. Read it with them and then expand on the imagination make-believe, have an afternoon flying session, build castles out of pillows, sheets, and overturned chairs. Luthardt's book is a great first step to a wonderful afternoon with your children.

Kevin Luthardt
32 pages
Picture book
March 2009

To learn more about either of these titles, or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon.

Don't forget about my picture book giveaway, click here to enter!


Becky said...

I loved Mortimer's First Garden. I didn't know there was another Mortimer book. :)

Amanda said...

Oooh yes, Mortimer's Christmas Manger was just as adorable!